San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am Sports High Profile Basketball Players
A quiet tradition of summer basketball in the San Francisco Bay Area contains a star studded resume of noteworthy current and former NBA and college players. Household names like Steph Curry, Jeremy Lin, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton hit the court together with recent graduates and current players from the University of San Francisco program for the annual San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am.
A look at the 2015 team rosters for the league include former Dons stand-outs Cole Dickerson, Perris Blackwell, Angelo Caloiaro and recent grad Kruize Pinkins. Current USF players Frankie Ferrari and Uche Ofoegbue are also playing in the league this summer. Other WCC players include Riley Barker (University of Portland) and Kerry Carter (Saint Mary’s), no doubt keeping themselves tuned up in case a European team comes calling.
Formed in 1997, the league is serious, yet fun. Former players extoll its virtues and San Francisco Coach Rex Walters notes the popularity and longevity of the league because “players always come back. When I was a kid, I would come back and play in the Pro-Am because there’s always a great run.”
The league also has a women’s counterpart which contains current and former college players who have gone on to play in the WNBA and internationally. This group includes WNBA and Stanford forward Nneke Ogumike who currently plays for the LA Sparks, another former Stanford player in Kristin Newlin who is playing in Istanbul, Turkey and ex-USF players Donnisha Taylor and Nnenna Okereke.
Two time league MVP Edward Allen describes the highlight of his summer league playing experience when he was “grabbing the trophy with all the professionals looking at me”. That let him “know I can be right where they are with the right break”. Playing with the pros was Edwards’ “measuring stick“.
Basketball players of all levels are working on their game year round whether in serious competitions during the season or serious but fun competitions in the off-season like the San Francisco Bay Area Summer Pro Am league.